Where In Europe Are Ukraine’s Refugees Going?

The UNHCR says more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian offensive began.

How many Ukrainians escaping the Russian war machine have entered European countries so far?


Ukraine’s close ally, with which it shares a 310-mile border, had received 1,204,403 refugees by Tuesday, the UNHCR said.

The government has announced plans to set up an 8bn złoty (£1.34bn) fund for people fleeing Ukraine, including the provision of a one-off payment of 300 złoty (£50) for each refugee.


A country that seven years ago built barbed-wire fences and deployed attack dogs to keep out refugees had allowed 191,348 Ukrainians to enter by Monday, according to the UNHCR.

Local media claim that the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has softened his longstanding anti-refugee rhetoric ahead of April elections.


Another border country, it has taken about 143,000 refugees as of Monday.

Foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu has said Romania is “open … to all those in need”, and that the refugees will be provided with “whatever is needed for them to feel safe”.


Slovakia, another neighbouring country, had taken in 140,745 Ukrainian refugees by Monday, the UNHCR said.

On 24 February, the country’s prime minister, Eduard Heger, said: “Slovakia is ready to help every Ukrainian who asks for such help.”

Czech Republic

The number of refugees who have arrived in the country has doubled since Friday, the interior minister, Vit Rakušan, has said with more than 100,000 now in the Czech Republic, most of whom have arrived by train and car.

The surge in arrivals is close to overwhelming officials at processing centres with Prague’s Congress Centre forced to close temporarily on Monday.

“We are dealing with a migrant crisis of unprecedented proportions,” said Rakušan who said it was a “problem” that most were coming to the capital and the country now needed to reorganise support. “Our registration centres can serve 8,000 to 10,000 applicants a day,” he told Reuters.


One of the poorest countries in Europe, which relies heavily on Russian gas, had accepted 82,762 refugees from Ukraine by Sunday, the UNHCR said.

The government has expressed concerns about the possibility of being invaded by Russia, and is seeking to join the EU.


About 30,000 Ukrainian refugees have so far arrived, with most coming through Poland, according to reports on Monday.

The interior minister, Nancy Faeser, told the weekly Bild am Sonntag that Germany would take refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine no matter what their nationality.


About 2,500 Ukrainians had arrived in France, with some then looking to go to Spain and Portugal as well as the UK, the interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said on Sunday.


The Irish government minister Roderic O’Gorman revealed on Tuesday that 2,200 Ukrainians had arrived in the country.

The day after Russia invaded, the Irish government lifted all visa restrictions. It also instructed airlines to accept Ukrainians who did not have passports but had some other form of ID such a driving licence or birth certificate.

United Kingdom

The Home Office said on Monday evening that it had granted visas to 300 Ukrainian refugees under its family scheme.

It said 17,700 applications to rejoin relatives were also being examined. A second visa scheme set up for Ukrainians, which involves being sponsored by an organisation or individual, is yet to begin.

Boris Johnson has ruled out setting up a third humanitarian scheme, which the home secretary, Priti Patel, claimed was being explored.

The government is under pressure to speed up and simplify the visa process. At present, applicants must hand over biometric details and fill in complex forms.


Story first published on The Guardian

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Rajeev Syal and Lisa O'Carroll, The Guardian